David M. Buss Quotes

Born April 14, 1953

Who the Hell is David M. Buss?

David M. Buss is an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin, theorizing and researching human sex differences in mate selection.

Buss wrote the book 'The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating' on this subject.

Books by David M. Buss

Best Quotes by David M. Buss

“A lot of cultural variability is explained on the basis of our underlying evolutionary psychology. So for example, if you live in an environment where there is a scarcity of food, then people tend to value plumpness in a potential mate more than thinness. If you live in a culture where there's an abundance of food, people value thinness over plumpness because plumpness in a food scarce culture reveals that those who are a little plump are healthy and they have been well nourished and they have had enough to eat.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“A male approaches a female and begins to flirt. She is not aware that he has slipped her a drug that renders her unconscious. He then takes her body to his home, positions her correctly, and has sex with her while she is knocked out. If you’ve read about Bill Cosby, this may sound familiar. You may be surprised to learn that this is one of the mating strategies of the funnel-web spider, Agelenopsis aperta. These male spiders have evolved a strategy of anesthetizing females who are reluctant to mate using a chemical cocktail.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“A man at the apprenticeship stage of a promising career may pursue only brief affairs, figuring that he will be able to attract a more desirable long-term mate later on, when his career is closer to its peak.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“A study by T. Joel Wade and Jennifer Slemp similarly found that the most effective flirtation tactics for women include touching, dressing in revealing clothing, moving closer, kissing on the cheek, and rubbing against the man.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“A woman’s mate value even varies over the monthly ovulation cycle. Subtle changes in women’s attractiveness reflect the ovulatory phase. Their skin glows a bit more, their waist-to-hip ratio becomes slightly lower, and their voices rise a bit, all qualities found to enhance perceptions of female beauty. The fact that women become more exacting in their mate preferences at precisely this time in their cycle might reflect an adaptation to monitor their own mate value and adjust their standards accordingly.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Academics are, on average, pussies.”

David M. Buss

“Although most men place a premium on beauty, it is clear that not all men succeed in satisfying their desires. Men who lack the status and resources that women want, for example, generally have the most difficult time attracting good looking, young women and must settle for less than their ideal. Indeed, a man's occupational status seems to be the best predictor of the attractiveness of the woman he marries. Men who are in a position to get what they want often partner up with a young, attractive woman.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Among all the tactics to elevate their position in status hierarchies, industriousness proved to be the best predictor of past and anticipated income and promotions. Those who worked harder achieved higher levels of education and higher annual salaries, and they anticipated greater salaries and promotions than those who failed to work hard.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“As a man's income goes up, he seeks younger partners.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“As one woman noted: 'The best way to get over one man is to get under another.'”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“As women age, husbands show less sexual interest in them and experience less happiness with their sexual relationship. Men who perceive their wives as quite attractive, however, maintain high frequencies of sex and higher levels of sexual satisfaction.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“At this point in history, we can no longer doubt that men and women differ in their preferences for a mate: primarily for youth and physical attractiveness in one case, and for status, maturity, success, protection, and economic resources in the other. Men and women also differ in their proclivities for casual sex without emotional involvement, in their desire for sexual variety, and in the nature of their sexual fantasies.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Basically people tend to pair off based on similarity and mate value. So the 8s tend to go with the 8s, the 10s with 10s, the 6s with the 6s, et cetera. But you can have an 8 start out with an 8, but over time, let's say the guy loses his job or becomes an alcoholic or something goes wrong, or from the woman's perspective, perhaps her mate value increases, they move to a different environment or her career takes off. And so it's very difficult to maintain perfectly matched mate value trajectories over time, but if a mate value discrepancy opens up, so you're an 8 and the person you started with was an 8, but now they're a 6. Well, people start becoming dissatisfied with the relationship and look to trade up, look to divest themselves of their existing mate and either get back into the mating pool or trade up with someone who has shown an interest in them.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Basically the rarer sex is the more valuable sex. So I mean if you have say 60 women for every 40 men, that means that there are going to be a lot of women who are mateless at least if they just do mate with one person, and so it intensifies competition in the more frequent sex.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Because ancestral women valued high status in men, for example, men have evolved motivation for acquiring and displaying status. Because ancestral men desired youth and health in potential mates, women have evolved motivations to appear young and healthful. Competition to attract a mate therefore involves besting one’s rivals in developing and displaying the characteristics most keenly sought by one’s desired partners.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Because firm, youthful breasts stimulate men’s desires, women obtain breast implants and wear push-up bras.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Because flushed cheeks and high color are cues that men use to gauge a woman’s health, women rouge their cheeks artificially to trigger men’s attraction.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Because full red lips trigger men’s evolved desires, women apply lipstick skillfully and even get injections to enlarge their lips for the “bee-stung” look.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Because lustrous hair is one of men’s evolved desires, women highlight, bleach, tint, or dye their hair, and they give it extra body with conditioners, egg yolks, beer, or weaves.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Because smooth, clear skin is one of men’s evolved desires, women cover up blemishes, use moisture cream, apply astringents, and get facelifts.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Both sexes place a tremendous value on intelligence and dependability in a lifetime mate. Both seek long-term mates who are cooperative, trustworthy, and loyal. And both desire mates who will not inflict crushing costs on them. We are all of one species from the same planet. Recognition of our shared psychology and shared biology is one step toward producing harmony between the sexes.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Both sexes typically get extremely upset at cues to both sexual and emotional infidelity, as they should – people sometimes fall in love with those with whom they have sex and conversely have sex with those with whom they become emotionally involved. So researchers asked: 'What would upset you more: Imagining your partner having sexual intercourse with someone else? Or imagining your partner falling in love with someone else?' This method revealed large sex differences, with the majority of men, roughly 60 percent, selecting sexual infidelity and most women, roughly 85 percent, selecting emotional infidelity.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Children strengthen marital bonds, reducing the probability of divorce, by creating a powerful commonality of genetic interest between a man and a woman.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Commitment is difficult and costly to fake, because commitment is gauged from repeated signals over time. Men who are interested only in sex are unlikely to invest this much effort.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Consider the case of a woman who denigrates a rival by casually mentioning that the rival has slept with many men. If the man is seeking a spouse, this tactic is highly effective, because men dislike promiscuity in a potential wife. If the man is seeking casual sex, however, the woman’s tactic is likely to backfire, because most men pursuing easy sex are not bothered by a woman’s past promiscuity.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Cultures vary in how jealous men get about a partner’s sexual infidelity, but it’s not random or arbitrary cultural variability. It is theoretically predictable variability based on how much men invest in their children, which in turn corresponds to the costs they would incur by investing in a child who might just be their rival’s.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Darwin had a wonderful scientific habit of noticing facts that seemed inconsistent with his theories.”

David M. Buss
Evolutionary Psychology

“Dating apps open up vast pools of potential mates. Living in a small town with a limited mating market allows a 10 to be happily mated with an 8, as long as there exist no other 9s or 10s in town. Living in a cyberworld containing millions of potential mates opens the floodgates to thousands of 9s and 10s. In the cold calculus of relative mate value, if a more desirable potential mate than my current partner is interested and within reach, I may become dissatisfied with my current partner, which may motivate me to switch.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Deception usually occurs in the domains that are most important—status, resources, and commitment for women, appearance and sexual fidelity for men, and personality qualities for both.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Differences in desirability create havoc in at least two fundamental ways. The first centers around misperceptions. A man who is a 6 but thinks he’s an 8 will be utterly irritated when the woman who’s an 8 whom he’s trying to chat up rejects his advances. Although women and men both can err in their self-perceived mate value, research shows that men are more likely than women to be overconfident in a variety of domains.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Different studies have estimated that somewhere between 25 and 30 percent of men who are on Tinder are actually married. So they're in committed relationships, but they're looking for something on the side.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Displays of love, commitment, and devotion signal a man is willing to channel his time, energy, and effort to her in the long run. Men attempt to deceive women by feigning an interest in commitment to achieve a quick sexual score. They also feign confidence, status, kindness, and resources that they lack. Men try to abscond with the sexual benefit without paying the cost of commitment.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Effective non-verbal seduction tactics for women in Lisbon, Portugal, included wearing tight skirts, wearing low-neck blouses, and exposing legs through short skirts or wearing attention-getting black or red nylons. Women who sexualize their appearance and behavior succeed in evoking approaches from men.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Emotional support is yet another facet of commitment, revealed by behavior such as being available in times of trouble and listening to the partner’s problems.”

David M. Buss

“Evolutionary psychology focuses on four key questions:

1. Why is the mind designed the way it is—that is, what causal processes created, fashioned, or shaped the human mind into its current form?
2. How is the human mind designed—what are its mechanisms or component parts, and how are they organized?
3. What are the functions of the component parts and their organized structure—that is, what is the mind designed to do?
4. How does input from the current environment interact with the design of the human mind to produce observable behavior?”

David M. Buss

“Exceptions occur when women mate with substantially younger men. Many of these cases occur not because of strong preferences by women for younger men but rather because both older women and younger men lack bargaining power on the mating market.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Features of physical appearance, such as full lips, clear skin, smooth skin, clear eyes, lustrous hair, and good muscle tone, and features of behavior, such as a bouncy, youthful gait, an animated facial expression, and a high energy level. These physical cues to youth and health, and hence to reproductive capacity, constitute key elements of male standards of female beauty.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Feminist scholars rightly stress the importance of power in sexual conflict. It must be recognized, however, that men’s motivations for power, status, and resources exist in part because women have preferred to mate with men who possess power, status, and resources. Neglecting this part of the causal origins of sexual conflict will impede efforts to alter it.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“For both men and women worldwide, jealousy is an adaptation that becomes activated in response to a threat to a valued relationship.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“For every incremental gain in men’s ability to deceive women, women evolve comparable incremental gains in their ability to detect deception.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“From an ancestral woman's perspective, hazards from the environment, other species, and importantly, other humans, could render her mate debilitated or dead. A bite from a poisonous snake, an incapacitating disease, or an attack from a warring group could decrease her partner's mate value.”

David M. Buss

“Fulfilling each other’s evolved desires is one key to harmony between a man and woman. A woman’s happiness increases when the man brings more economic resources to the union and shows kindness, affection, and commitment. A man’s happiness increases when the woman is more physically attractive than he is, and when she shows kindness, affection, and commitment. Those who fulfill each other’s desires have happier relationships, especially if there are no interested others in the mating pool who could fulfill them more completely.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Gazelles have evolved an antipredator adaptation known as stotting. Stotting is a behavior in which the gazelles leap into the air, lifting all four legs simultaneously, land more or less on the same spot, and then bounce-leap on all fours several times. Gazelles stot only when they detect cheetahs. The tactic serves two possible functions. First, it alerts the cheetahs that they have been spotted and communicates that the hungry predators have lost the element of surprise—one of their key weapons. Second, it signals to the cheetahs that the gazelles are in excellent physical condition. It is as though the stotting gazelles are saying: 'I am so athletic, so nimble, so fleet of foot, that you won’t be able to catch me. You are better off going after more catchable prey.' Stotting works. Cheetahs rarely go after gazelles after watching them stot.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Given the importance that men attach to looks and sexual exclusivity in a potential mate, they are especially sensitive to deception about a woman’s age and sexual history. Men are keenly attuned to information about women’s sexual reputations. Vigilance guards them against deception about two of the most reproductively important considerations for a man seeking a long-term mate—her reproductive value and the likelihood that her value will be channeled exclusively to him.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Given the power of sexual selection, under which each sex competes for access to desirable mates, it would defy scientific logic to find that men and women were psychologically identical in aspects of mating about which they have faced different adaptive challenges for millions of years.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“How do we assess our mate value? Well, one way is you get out there in the meeting pool and see who's interested. If there are a lot of eights, nines and tens who are very eager to mate with you, then that reveals something about your current mate value. People who've been in a relationship for a while don't necessarily have the most accurate understanding of their mate value because you've been out of the mating marker for a while, but when you're single or get back into the mating market, that's when you find out, and people reenter the mating market at a different stage in their life. They might have things they didn't have before, like kids or debt or they might have a more successful career. And so it helps to get information from assessments and other people's reactions to you.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“I actually think in male brains there's a switch that goes off when they suddenly experience a dramatic boost in status, like when a struggling actor suddenly has a hit movie or a struggling musician suddenly has a hit record, that in the male brain there's this switch of 'Oh, now I'm entitled both the more short-term mating opportunities, but also I'm entitled the higher mate value partner.' And you see this a lot with the movie stars. So I mean like Jim Carrey was one, that had a very stable relationship. As soon as he became famous, all of a sudden he broke up, did some short-term mating and then remade it with a variety of women. Sylvester Stallone's another one. I want to say, and I don't know the details of Jon Hamm, but he was in like a 20 year relationship and then Mad Men hit. And then somehow next thing I know he and his partner have broken up.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“I think there's enough evidence to suggest that people do track their mate value. And I think part of the way that they do it is, they track it by other people's reactions to them: The status in which they are, the status and esteem in which they are held by members of the group. And we all track, we track our own and we track other people's status.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“If I went into a faculty meeting and department meeting, and I slapped a moose that I just killed on the table, it would not increase my status within academia. But if you were in the Aché or in any other hunter gatherer group, taking down a large game animal would increase your status.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“If women give sex to get love and men give love to get sex, then depriving a man of sex may be a reliable way to stop his love and hasten his departure.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“If you asked a hundred evolutionary psychologists: 'Why do women have affairs?' I would bet something like 95 percent of them or more would argue for the good genes hypothesis. That is women try to pursue what they call a dual mating strategy, a securing investment and resources from one guy, but obtaining superior genes from another guy. And there's some evidence for that, but I think there's a lot more evidence for the mate switching hypothesis, which has been relatively neglected in the research literature on this.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“If you understand basically human mating psychology or adaptations for mating both in ourselves and in the people that we're trying to attract, that gives you a leg up in the mating game.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“In a fascinating study, Barrett (1999) demonstrated that children as young as three
years of age have a sophisticated cognitive understanding of predator-prey encounters. Children from both an industrialized culture and a traditional hunter-horticulturalist culture were
able to spontaneously describe the flow of events in a predator-prey encounter in an ecologically accurate way. Moreover, they understood that after a lion kills a prey, the prey is no longer alive, can no longer eat, and can no longer run and that the dead state is permanent.
This sophisticated understanding of death from encounters with predators appears to be developed by age three to four.”

David M. Buss
Evolutionary Psychology

“In an evolutionary context, in ancestral environments, we lived in small groups, perhaps 50 to 150 people or so, and we occasionally encountered other groups. In the course of our lifetimes, you would have encountered perhaps a few dozen potential mates. What you have with something like Tinder or the modern online dating world is you have thousands or actually literally millions of potential mates, and so you're bombarded with the impression that there is an infinite variety to choose from. It could have the effect of saying, 'Well, this person is right on eight of the 10 things I want, but they're not right on 10 of the 10, so I'm going to keep looking.' And so it may lower commitment if there is the impression that there's always someone better around right around the corner.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“In ancestral environments the probability that woman's mate might die get killed in a small group warfare, or might get disease, might get injured or might leave her was pretty high. And so women who cultivated a backup mate would've been in a better position than women who didn't. Mate-switching is simply either laying the groundwork for getting out of one relationship and into another or just having that what I call mating insurance. So something might happen to your house, you get house insurance, you have car insurance. We also have mate insurance, people have backup mates, and in case something should go wrong and it might not necessarily be someone that they switch to permanently, but it might be like a transitional relationship.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“In light of men’s emphasis on fidelity in a committed relationship, displays of fidelity should be paramount in women’s tactics of attraction. Faithfulness displays, such as honesty and trustworthiness, signal that the woman is pursuing a long-term mating strategy and that she is doing so without deception and exclusively with one man.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“In short-term affairs, women can be very choosy because they have so many options to choose from.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“In the human mating dance, the costs of being deceived about a potential mate's resources and commitment are carried more heavily by women. An ancestral woman who made a poor choice of a casual mate, allowing herself to be deceived about the man's long-term intentions, risked enduring pregnancy, childbirth, and child care unaided and being less able to attract an alternative mate, since existing children are seen as costs by potential mates on the mating market.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Interestingly, married women in their early thirties are most likely to have an affair, perhaps reflecting a motivation to switch mates while their desirability is high and they are still fertile.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“It would be a mistake to view human responsiveness to social norms as somehow separate from our evolved psychology. We are a rule-following species. A core part of our evolved psychology is to decipher social consensus, conform to group opinion, and adhere to social imperatives. Throughout human evolutionary history, people lived and died by their social reputations. Violating social rules, and especially sexual rules, brought shame to violators and sometimes reputational damage to their entire families. We care deeply about how we are perceived by others. As the evolutionary economist Robert Frank notes, “We come into this world with a nervous system that worries about rank.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Jealousy is activated when there is a threat and it doesn't have to be an immediate threat, but a threat lurking on the horizon of relationships such as 'Oh, he's just a friend. We just like hanging out.' But people intentionally suppress their expression of jealousy because expressing jealousy is in part a signal that you are threatened and it might be a signal that you are lower in mate value than your partner. So it's kind of an interesting emotion and that it's functional in that it leads us to do mate retention tactics and to respond to legitimate threats, but it also is a can be damaging to express it too much because of what it reveals about your own mate value.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Killing is fundamentally in our nature because over the eons of human evolution murder was so surprisingly beneficial in the intense game of reproductive competition.”

David M. Buss

“Knowing what we desire in a mate provides no guarantee that we will succeed in getting what we want. Success hinges on providing signals that we will deliver what the partner we desire is seeking.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Male sexual jealousy is the leading cause of the murder of adult women, accounting for between 50 and 70 percent of all such homicides. Police know this. When women are murdered, the prime suspects are boyfriends, husbands, ex-boyfriends, and ex-husbands. Although jealousy sometimes motivates women to murder, only 3 percent of murdered men are killed by their romantic partners or exes, and many of these female-perpetrated homicides are women defending themselves against a jealously violent man.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Men and women do not merely enhance their own attractiveness; they also derogate their rivals. While making themselves appear attractive by exhibiting the qualities sought by the other sex, people also denigrate their rivals by making them appear to lack these desired qualities.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Men are preoccupied with a woman's youth. Men want wives who are pretty, attractive, beautiful, gorgeous, comely, lovely, ravishing, and glamorous.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Men in the past who were indifferent to their partners having sex with other men are not our evolutionary ancestors.”

David M. Buss
Evolutionary Psychology

“Men more than women have stronger motivations for short-term meeting and we know this through a million studies and very different variables. Men have a greater desire for sexual variety. They're willing to have sex with total strangers with no emotional involvement. They seek sex after less time has elapsed. They have more sexual fantasies about total strangers. They do more partner switching in the course of a single sexual fantasy episode than women do, and so they're really profound sex differences.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Men seek attractive women as mates not simply for their reproductive value but also as signals of status to same sex competitors and to other potential mates.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Men value physical attractiveness, and I found that women were most likely to cite enhancing their appearance as one of their primary mate retention tactics — a finding that is replicable across cultures, including Brazil, Croatia, and the United States. Out of the nineteen clusters evaluated, enhancing their appearance was the second most effective tactic used by women, after love and kindness.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Men view many women as 'above threshold' in attractiveness, but women tend to be attracted primarily to men in the top twentieth percentile.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Men's banter, when it does not center on sports or work, often revolves around the appearance and sexual availability of women in their social circles.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Men’s jealousy is especially attuned to rivals who have status and resources; women’s jealousy is especially attuned to rivals who are physically attractive.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Monogamy is probably enforced because society is mostly comprised of beta males.”

David M. Buss

“Moodiness also functions as an assessment device to test the strength of the bond. Women use moodiness to impose small costs on their mates and then use men’s reactions to the costs as a gauge of their degree of commitment. If a man is unwilling to tolerate these costs, it is a cue that his commitment is low. Men’s willingness to tolerate the costs and to be responsive to the increasing demands for investment signals a greater level of commitment. Either way, the woman gains valuable information about the strength of the bond.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“More desirable women have more bargaining power and they can elevate their standards. They want higher levels of resources, education, and intelligence; higher social status; good parenting skills; and raft of other traits. Men with resources are more likely to marry physically attractive women. Most men can get a much more desirable woman if they are willing to commit to a long-term relationship because women typically desire lasting commitment, and highly desirable women are in the best position to get what they want.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Most women are unwilling to settle for men who are less educated, less intelligent, and less professionally successful than they are. Men are less exacting on precisely these dimensions, choosing to prioritize youth and appearance.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“My hunch is that people have these low-level assessment mechanisms going on all the time. So they meet someone new and question whether they, as an alternative, would be more attractive than their existing partner.”

David M. Buss

“My Nigerian colleague wished to know whether I sought mate preferences for a man’s first wife, second wife, or third wife.”

David M. Buss

“My work and other people’s work has demonstrated that women place a high preference on guys who have high status and resources.”

David M. Buss

“Narcissistic men apparently think they are hot, even when they’re not.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“No human is without imperfections. Drawing attention to them magnifies their importance, especially if attention is drawn to efforts to conceal or disguise a weak spot.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“On average, men find women more attractive than women find men.”

David M. Buss

“On Tinder men who were pursuing a short-term mating strategy will swipe on a zillion profile. So they'll just like maybe swipe on 200 and 300 women and if they get a couple of hits, a two or three hits then great, they're playing a numbers game. Women, even on Tinder, tend to be much more selective about who they swipe right on.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“One colleague captured the conflict that can ensue by expressing frustration after several years of unhappy dating: 'Why am I being pestered by guys I don’t care about, but the men I’m genuinely attracted to seem to show little interest in me?' I told her that she is an 8 chasing after 10s but being pursued by 6s. It dawned on her that pursuing men just outside of her mate-value range was the source of her misery.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“One man who estimated that he had hooked up with thirty or forty women over the past year through dating apps admitted, 'I sort of play that I could be a boyfriend kind of guy, in order to win them over, but then they start wanting me to care more... and I just don’t.'”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“One of the variables that's really interested me lately is sex ratio in the mating pool because things really dramatically shift. If there's a surplus of women relative to men, then things shift much more to short term mating and women basically are forced to fulfill men's desires for that sex quickly before you know the person very well. Whereas when they're the surplus of men in the mating pool, it's the opposite, relationships tend to be very stable, they tend to be very committed. Guys who are successful enough to attract a woman, basically hold on for dear life and do heavy mate guarding.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“One statistic that I cite actually in the Mates Switching Paper is that 85 percent of people have gone through at least one romantic breakup, and so what that means is people don't find the one and only when they're 18 years old and then have lifelong monogamy for the rest of their lives. We go through a series of relationships typically, and that's what I mean by serial mating. Mating with one person for a while, breaking up and then mating with another person for a while.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“One woman told me she was having a conversation with her friend and she asked the other 'Why are you going out with this guy? He's so short.' And then the other woman replied 'Well he's very tall when he stands on his wallet.'”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Overt displays of sexuality are effective short-term tactics for women but are ineffective in the long run: such displays get men’s sexual attention but do not motivate them to invest or commit. The effectiveness of attraction, in short, depends critically on the temporal context of the mating. Men and women tailor their attraction techniques to the length of the relationship they seek.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Sexual jealousy, once considered by psychologists to be pathological or a character defect, is in fact a supremely important emotion motivating mate-retention solutions. Adaptive in the evolutionary sense of leading to greater survival and reproductive success, of course, does not mean morally good.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Signals of sexual accessibility are sometimes part of a larger strategy to lure a man into a long-term relationship. Sometimes the only way a woman can gain the attention and interest of a man is by offering herself as sexually available with no apparent strings attached. If the costs in resources and commitment are made low enough, many men succumb to sexual opportunity. Once a woman gains sexual access to a man of her choice, her proximity offers opportunities for insinuating herself, for making the man depend on her for various functions, and for gradually escalating both the benefits he will receive by staying in the relationship and the costs he will incur if he leaves her. What seems initially like costless sex without strings attached ends up being transformed into commitment.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Sincerity in personal advertisements is a code word for commitment, used by women to screen out men seeking casual sex without any commitment.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Stressful events sometimes knock people off of a center so to speak and people who are emotionally unstable take a longer time to return to baseline. They stay emotionally out of whack for a longer period of time, and so that's a telltale sign. That's why one of the things I always recommend for people who are seriously thinking about committing or really want to find out if this person going to be a good long-term mate, is go on vacation with them. Go to a different country where not everything is familiar, where you're going to experience unknowns and different contexts and stressful events and that really if you can spend two weeks in a foreign country with someone and that really gives you a quicker assay of their level of emotional stability as well as some other variables.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Studies also have found that men tend to prefer women younger than themselves and, as they grow older, their preferred age gap increases. Men in this situation tend to commit 'mind-reading errors' finding it unfathomable that the woman is not also attracted to them.”

David M. Buss

“Take a different dating app, ashleymadison.com, which is a website designed for people who want to have sex outside their marriage. Well, it turned out when it was hacked and information was revealed, there's like a ton of men on this site and practically no women. And so they were actually doing some somewhat unsavory practices of creating fake female profiles in the effort to convince men that there were more women on this app then in fact there were.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“The biological irony of the double standard is that males could not have been selected for promiscuity if historically females had always denied them opportunity for expression of the trait.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The centrality of fidelity shows up indirectly in the tactics employed by women to derogate mating competitors. Saying that a rival cannot stay loyal to one man was judged to be the single most effective derogation tactic for a woman to use in the marriage market. Calling a rival a slut, saying she was loose, or telling others that she slept around were in the top 10 percent of effective derogation tactics.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The characteristics that men and women value are keys to understanding the means of attracting a mate.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The consequences of women’s attractiveness for a man’s social status are critical. Everyday folklore tells us that our mate is a reflection of ourselves. Men are particularly concerned about status, reputation, and hierarchies because elevated rank has always been an important means of acquiring the resources that make men attractive to women. It is reasonable, therefore, to expect that a man will be concerned about the effect that his mate has on his social status.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The deception study found that men use several tactics to deceive women about their intentions. Men pretend to be interested in starting a relationship when they are not really interested and act as if they care about a woman even though they really do not. Most men are fully aware that feigning commitment is an effective tactic for short-term sexual attraction, and they admit to deceiving women by this means. Men using Tinder, Hinge, and other dating apps admit that they pretend to be open to being in a relationship even though their real interest lies in racking up large numbers of short-term sexual conquests.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The diverse tactics for retaining mates succeed by exploiting the psychological adaptations of mates and rivals. The beneficial tactics, such as giving love and resources, work for a man because they fulfill the psychological desires that led the woman to choose him to begin with. For a woman, enhancing her physical appearance and providing sexual resources succeeds because they match men’s psychology of desire. Indeed, our study of married couples found that men intensify their mate retention efforts when they perceive their partner to be attractive, just as women ramp up their mate retention efforts with partners who are higher in status and income.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The effectiveness of playing hard to get as a long-term attraction technique stems from providing men with two key reproductive assets: desirability on the mating market and a signal that he alone will have sexual access.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The fact is divorce rates are twice as high if the woman makes more than the man in terms of income than the reverse. The way I interpret that is we know that women place greater priority on status and resources and if the guy fails to fulfill those desires, women are not happy about it.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“The good news is that educated women and men who choose each other tend to have happier, more stable, and more affluent marriages.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The huge human brain, approximately 1,350 cubic centimeters, is the most complex organic structure in the known world. Understanding the human mind/brain mechanisms in evolutionary perspective is the goal of the new scientific discipline called evolutionary psychology.”

David M. Buss

“The importance of context is also shown by the attraction tactic of acting coy or unavailable. Appearing indifferent to a person one likes and playing hard to get are judged to be more effective for women than for men. Furthermore, these forms of coyness are more effective for women in the context of long-term as opposed to casual mates. This outcome meshes perfectly with the sexual strategies of both women and men. The coyness tactic works for women seeking committed mates because it signals both desirability and fidelity. Men think that if a woman is easy for them to get sexually, then she may be easy for other men too.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The irony is that attractive women, because they receive a larger volume of male sexual attention, are precisely the women who, on average, are least likely to reciprocate men’s sexual interest.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“The key point is that men who have success in attracting women are typically more likely to use coercion, and those who are less successful are less likely to use coercion. These findings refute the evolution-based mate-deprivation hypothesis of rape.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“The mate attraction studies confirm the power of displaying commitment in the long-term mating market. Discussing cohabitation or marriage signals that a man would like to integrate the woman into his social and family life, commit his resources to her, and perhaps have children with her. Offering to convert to her religion shows a willingness to accommodate to her needs. Showing a deep concern for her problems communicates emotional support and a commitment to be there in times of need.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The psychological devastation women experience stems in part from damage to a woman’s sexual reputation. This reputation, in turn, is formed and driven by two key evolutionary forces of sexual selection—men’s mate preferences and women’s intrasexual competition. Men worldwide prioritize sexual fidelity in long-term mates. Men interpret cues to perceived promiscuity as compromising prospects for fidelity in a committed partner. In contrast, men are attracted to cues of a woman’s perceived promiscuity when they seek casual sex partners because these cues convey information about their chances of succeeding sexually. So victims of revenge porn suffer damage to their long-term mate value in the eyes of men. Women perceived as promiscuous, even if that perception is entirely erroneous and based on images they themselves have not posted, also tend to be slotted in the male brain as potential short-term mates.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“The quaint phrase 'domestic violence' and its typical analysis by psychologists fail to capture the cloaked reasons why men beat up their mates. Wife beating is usually attributed to pathology, cultural values of macho men, or patriarchal societies in which men are united in their interests with other men to oppress all women. These explanations cannot be correct, for they utterly violate the logic of how evolution by selection designs men’s psychology. Men cannot be united with other men in their interests of oppression, even in principle, for the simple reason that men are primarily in competition with other men. Men do not desire to oppress all women, for they have sisters, mothers, daughters, and nieces whom they desire to protect and defend. Men do have adaptations to control and manipulate their own mates, and therein lies the horrifying bridge to abuse.”

David M. Buss
The Murderer Next Door

“The romantic fallacy occurs when we see ourselves through the lens of utopian visions of what we want people to be.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“The sex ratio shifts, I mean I go to give talks at different universities and colleges, and I notice it even when I go to a university where there's 60 percent women, 40 percent men, women are dressed more provocatively, they're dressed in skimpier clothes, shorter skirts, et cetera. They show more skin and basically because the whole system has to shift or it doesn't have to, but it does shift more to a short-term mating strategy compared to when there's an equal sex ratio or a surplus of men.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“The two big things that I think are hijacking or evolve mating psychology are online dating sites and online pornography. These are both evolutionarily novel inputs but inputs that hijack or evolve psychology in particular ways. But whether these things are destructive, whether they impair long-term mating relationships, whether they make people less satisfied with their regular partner, these are unknown. ”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“There can be no autonomous agent with unitary interests called 'society' that exerts causal influence. This is a logical impossibility.”

David M. Buss

“Those who fail to mate, fail to become ancestors. Each living human therefore, has descended from a long and unbroken line of successful mateships stretching back millions of years. If any one of our ancestors had failed to traverse the complex hurdles posed by mating, we would not be alive to ponder these improbable feats.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“To assume that men and women are psychologically the same, as was generally done in traditional social science and still is in some out-of-date scientific circles, goes against what we now know about our evolved sexual psychology.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“To maximize the chances of preserving a long-term bond, couples would do well to remain faithful; produce children together; secure ample economic resources; act kind, generous, and understanding; and attend to their mate’s sexual and emotional desires. These actions do not guarantee a successful relationship, but they increase the odds substantially.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Upset over neglect and unreliability reflects a conflict over investment of time and effort. It takes effort to be on time. Reliability requires relinquishing time and resources that could be channeled toward other goals. Neglect signals a low investment, indicating that the man lacks the depth of commitment necessary to perform acts that require even minimal cost for the woman’s benefit.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“We evolved in the context of mild polygyny where men were legally permitted to take multiple mates if they had the status and resources to do so. Historically 83 percent of cultures were polygynous and permitted this. And so what used to be divesting of a mate was simply in ancestral times the acquisition of an additional mate. But in the modern environment, we have a presumptive monogamy and so we don't do that. Although some men do but we in essence practice this through serial mating.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“We have to understand our evolved coalitional psychology to make sense of what's going on today.”

David M. Buss

“We know that the earlier estimates of paternity uncertainty rates, that is the person that you believe to be the father is actually not the genetic father, those rates turn out to be far lower than initially thought. So it used to be believed in people including me that the rates were like 10, 12 percent paternity uncertainty rates. But it turns out large scale studies and meta-analyses now reveal it's more like 1 to 2 percent. And so what that means is that very, very few women are pursuing this dual mating strategy, getting genes from one guy and resource from another. Now of course, it's possible that ancestrally it was more common and that may be in studies of more traditional societies, it might reveal that that's currently unknown. But I think that the mate-switching hypothesis to explain why women have affairs is much more plausible. There's a lot more evidence in support of it compared to this dual mating strategy hypothesis.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“What women look for is that future resource trajectory, not necessarily the how thick his wallet is at the moment.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“When I was much younger I got involved with a woman, she was gorgeous, she was intelligent, she had an exciting personality and she had like a many things that I really wanted in a mate, but she was emotionally unstable and that emotional instability undermined all the other qualities over the long run. And so after that relationship broke up, the importance of emotional stability elevated in my priority list, and then I've done empirical studies since then on what personality characteristics lead to disaster in relationships, and that's a big one.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“When you get to sexual violence, it is the case that men are primarily the perpetrators, and women are primarily the victims.”

David M. Buss

“Whereas signals of commitment prove highly effective in attracting long-term mates, creating an illusion of commitment can be effective in attracting and seducing a woman.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“While love is common, true love is rare, and I believe that few people are fortunate enough to experience it. The roads of regular love are well traveled and their markers are well understood by many - the mesmerizing attraction, the idealization obsession, the sexual afterglow, the profound self-sacrifice, and the desire to combine DNA. But true love takes its own course through uncharted territory. It knows no fences, eludes modern measurement, and seems scientifically woolly. But I know true love exists. I just can’t prove it.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“While women complain that men are emotionally constricted, men commonly complain that women are too moody and emotional.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Why would women fear rape from strange men when most rapists are men they know? Why don’t women show greater fear of rape from acquaintances since they make up the vast majority of perpetrators? And why would so many women fear that their rapist would murder them when the conditional probability of 'if rape, then murder' is so small? In short, why do women appear at first glance to be miscalibrated in their rape fears? One possible solution to this mystery is an evolutionary mismatch. Perhaps over human evolutionary history the rates of stranger rape and rape followed by murder were much higher than they are today. For thousands of years, small-group warfare often left a trail of female victims in its wake.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Within each sex, however, there exist large individual differences. Some men and women have a strong desire for no-strings casual sex; others opt for monogamy with their 'one and only'. Some women and men practice the art of deception in the mating game; others opt for honest courtship. Some people remain sexually faithful; others have affairs whenever the opportunity arises. Some sexually harass co-workers with impunity; others are appalled at workplace misconduct. Because of these profound individual differences within each sex, all statements about sex differences in this book carry the always-necessary qualifier of 'on average'.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Women are more likely than men to experience negative emotions after a hookup. Men are more likely to regret when the woman they hooked up with wants a more serious relationship. Men report that their ideal outcome of a hookup would be more hookups in the future. Women are more likely to report that their ideal outcome would be a romantic relationship. Following hookups, women are more likely than men to report feeling 'used' and experiencing depressed mood.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women guard against deception. When they are seeking a committed relationship, an important first-line defense is imposing courtship costs by requiring extended time, energy, and costly signals before consenting to sex. More time buys more assessment. It allows a woman greater opportunity to evaluate a man, to assess how committed he is to her, and to detect whether he is burdened by prior commitments to other women and children. Men who seek to deceive women about their ultimate intentions typically tire of extended courtship. They go elsewhere for sex partners who are more readily available.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women marry believing that their husbands will change. Men marry believing that their wives will not change. They are both wrong.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women of striking beauty are desired by many men, but only a few men prosper in attracting them. The qualities of kindness, intelligence, dependability, athleticism, looks, and economic prospects are all present rarely in the same person. Most of us must settle for someone who has less than the full complement of desirable qualities.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women report pretending to be helpless, letting the man control the conversation, acting dumb, acting 'ditzy', and pretending to be meek and submissive. A woman’s submissiveness conveys to a man that he need not expect hostile reactions to his advances. Subservient signals implicitly give men permission to approach. Since men are more likely to initiate approaches, signs of submissiveness and helplessness lower barriers to approach. Acting submissive elicits approaches from a larger number of men, expands the pool of potential mates, creates greater opportunities for choice, and ultimately increases the quality of the mate obtained.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women sometimes have affairs when they are trying to replace their current mate or in order to make it easier to break off with a current mate.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women tend to have affairs when they are unhappy with their primary relationship, whereas men who have affairs are no less happy with their marriages than men who refrain.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women were more likely to regret sexual acts of commission, such as losing virginity to the wrong person, hooking up with a person with low mate value when drunk, and having sex with someone who was not interested in a relationship.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women who are too easy to attract are perceived as less desirable.”

David M. Buss

“Women who have affairs tend to be unhappy with their relationship, sexually and emotionally, and you may think, well this is obvious. Of course, women who are unhappy are going to have more likely to have affairs. But the interesting thing is, it is not true for men. It's true for women but not men. So if you compare men who have affairs with men who don't, there's no difference in their happiness with the relationship.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Women who have affairs tend to fall in love with their affair partner. One study found that 79 percent did. With men, it's only about a third, and so this would be a terrible design feature if all you're trying to do from a female perspective is to obtain good genes from your affair partner. Falling in love with him, becoming attached to him is exactly the opposite of what you want. You want to get the good genes and then cast them aside or make sure you don't jeopardize your primary mating relationship.”

David M. Buss
The Jordan Harbinger Show

“Women who initiate affairs are much more likely to suffer from marital dissatisfaction than women who do not. This might seem blindingly obvious, but the same studies show that men who have affairs do not, in fact, differ from those who abstain from affairs in their levels of marital happiness. Second, women are much more likely than men to become emotionally involved with, and to fall in love with, their affair partners.”

David M. Buss
When Men Behave Badly

“Women who make more money than their husbands tend to leave them.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women who seek a lasting mate, for example, have at their disposal a wide range of tactics, including displays of loyalty, signals of common interests, and acts of intelligence. Women purchase beauty products not because they have been brainwashed by the media, but because they have determined that using beauty products will increase their power to get what they want. Women are not unsuspecting dupes manipulated by the forces of Madison Avenue, but determine through their preferences which products they will consume—products that they perceive will enhance their value as a mate, friend, or group member.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Women who succeed appear reproductively valuable by embodying physical and behavioral cues that signal their youth and physical attractiveness. Women who fail to fulfill these qualities lose a competitive edge. Because men place a premium on appearance, competition among women to attract men centers heavily on enhancing their physical attractiveness along youthful and healthful lines.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire

“Worldwide, one of the most highly valued characteristics in a committed mate is kindness. It signals a willingness to engage in a cooperative alliance, an essential ingredient for success in long-term mating.”

David M. Buss
The Evolution of Desire